How Do You Know When To Close Your Business?

Business By CakeyBakey2 Updated 30 Dec 2017 , 2:27am by CakeyBakey2

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CakeyBakey2 Posted 22 Nov 2017 , 9:35pm
post #1 of 19

This may be a long post, so please bare with me. I'm thinking about quitting selling cakes/sweets; I don't know if this is just a rash decision because I'm fed up or maybe I just need a break or what. 

So I just had my first child about 2 months ago now and its totally changed my perspective on life/cake/work etc.. which I think is pretty normal and healthy; but I find myself completely resenting the time and effort I am putting into my business now and its not because I don't love what I do; it's because the market where is live is SATURATED to the hilt with unlicensed/illegal cake makers and legal ones to (where I live you cannot do cakes out of your home kitchen, its highly regulated). Quite frankly I cannot compete anymore, I know my costs inside and out, I have overhead and I know exactly what goes into making a cake and the race to the bottom is unreal. People are selling 3 tier wedding cakes with sugar flowers for $2.50/serving (some of it decent work and some of it is not great..but generally here people will go with the lowest price over other considerations). I just feel like I'm wasting time away from my child and my family quoting and talking to people, when my actual conversion rate is quite low. I know I do decent work but I refuse to pay to do someone's Wedding cake and as much as I would like to turn in all the illegal decorators it's not possible (there really is that many). 

So to those of you that quit selling cakes when did you know it was time to give up or if you thought about throwing in the towel what made you decide to keep going? I feel like I'm at such a crossroads, I've put SO MUCH money, time and effort into this business the thought of giving up hurts me badly. I love what I do but at the same time I'm starting to resent it. 

18 replies
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bubs1stbirthday Posted 22 Nov 2017 , 11:11pm
post #2 of 19

First off, let me say, I do not own/run a cake business and I have been lucky (unlucky??? ;-) ) enough to be able to stay home and raise our kids, our eldest is almost 5 and our youngest is alt 7 months old.

If you can afford to not do paid work or to do very limited paid work then I think you will not regret taking time to just 'be' with your little one, they are so small for such a short time, trust me, in a blink of an eye they grow from baby to little people when you sit back and think 'when did that happen', it's not an easy job, it's damn hard some days and when my daughter was 2 I went back to work at night a couple of days a week just to get some of 'my own life' back but the ability to go for a walk and stop and look at people's gardens' to have the time to touch the trees and describe how it feels, to not be rushed and not need to rush your children constantly from point A to point B, to be able to fully focus on them when they are sick etc is such a blessing.

Perhaps there is a compromise of working alongside someone else wants to take a weekend off every couple of months or something where you can step in and help out at that point for them?

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kakeladi Posted 25 Nov 2017 , 7:29pm
post #3 of 19

I really think your child/children should come 1st.  I think some of what you are going thru is somewhat akin to 'the baby blues' :)  It sounds like you have too much on your plate and I am suggesting you put up your spatula for a few years.  It's easy for me to think that way as I didn't get into this business until my 2 were getting married! :)   And I agree w/ bubs1st - those cute babies grow up soooooo fast.  You don't want to miss that. 

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-K8memphis Posted 25 Nov 2017 , 9:57pm
post #4 of 19

from my experience i'd say you are ready to close -- you used the word resent -- it's becoming negative -- enjoy your baby -- they change from day to day and moment to moment -- best to you

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jchuck Posted 26 Nov 2017 , 2:25am
post #5 of 19


I have to agree with kakeladi. Hang up your spaula, and come back to it later. And with all the competition, doesn't sound like your making a lot of money. And decorating will become tougher as your baby demands more of your time. And it's not fun doing cakes from babies bedtime to the wee hours. Usually your gut instinct is right. But only you can decide.  Expressing yourself like this seems to solidify your feelings, verified what you probably already decided in your heart.

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Muntic0re Posted 1 Dec 2017 , 11:38am
post #6 of 19

When I had no sales for 2 weeks it was really devastating for me. But I didn't want to close my business 'cause I put so many efforts and money to launch it. I surfed the Web and found roix platform . I watched the video about it. This platform helps to analyze the market and you can sort the trend products by certain criterias: price, country etc. Honestly it worked for my business and I managed not only to boost my sales but soon I am going to open a new department in my city.

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CakeyBakey2 Posted 3 Dec 2017 , 3:37am
post #7 of 19

I will say that as much as I would love to stay home with my child full time, that is not financially a real option, but then again cake isn't really that profitable anymore either (in my area at least). I feel stuck and so frustrated. 

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jchuck Posted 3 Dec 2017 , 1:45pm
post #8 of 19

Well CakeyBakey2 if your going back to work, I'd be spending as much time with my little one as possible. Put cakes on the back burner and just make occasional one for profit and family. Right now, your body is still adjusting after having your baby. So you need to give yourself time physically and mentally to back to the normal you. Not sure making such a big decision like this so soon when you  are maybe sleep deprived and adjusting to the new little one in the household is wise. Enjoy your baby and revisit the cake topic in a little while down the road. 

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bubs1stbirthday Posted 3 Dec 2017 , 11:16pm
post #9 of 19

Do you have a website of some sort? Perhaps to save at least some of your time from being wasted you could invest time in getting a cake gallery that has prices listed of certain cakes that you have done with serving sizes etc all listed.

Refer any potential customers to your site and you will quickly weed out the ones that want to spend an amount that is fair to you from the ones  are just bargain hunting.

My husband makes fire units and ours are quality ones, not the cheap Chinese imports that are available. The first thing we do is show interested parties some of the previous ones and tell them the literage/specs and cost of them.

The ones who want to get a good quality unit for the cost of an cheap import are not our customers anyway so there's no point doing any sort of quote for them, by being upfront about the cost right from the start only genuine customers tend to ask for a quote.

We also ask for a 50% upfront payment before any work is started, balance due in cash on pick up or to be cleared prior to pick up if paying by cheque or bank deposit so no time or money is wasted prior to them confirming with cold hard cash that they want the tank done. Again this will quickly weed out time wasters.

Maybe you could implement something like that too and put it on your site so that at least when you are taking on the jobs or doing quotes you know they are real potential clients rather than time wasters which may make you a little less resentful.

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shimmering Posted 6 Dec 2017 , 12:25pm
post #10 of 19

The time after having a baby is a very emotional time. I think there is a lot of hormones at play that make us feel all weird and close to depressed. So really not a great time to take such decisions. But I also know what you are going through. With people coming to you asking for cheaper prices or after all the discussions they don't go ahead. 

Personally I think you should take a break from baking, at least for a couple of months, maybe 6-8 months postpartum. 

If baking is something you truly love, I would say don't give up yet but change your business plan. Maybe start making cupcakes and cookies. I had a friend who faced a similar problem or market crisis, she stopped making cakes and she tied up with catering companies, especially those who didn't have their own bakery/ oven. She would bake whoopee pies, cookies, cupcakes, cake pops, brownies and stuff like that. Once in a while she would make cakes when people were willing to pay. Also she opened up a website and online ordering for sheet cakes and pre-decorated cakes. Her stuff tastes better than the supermarket stuff, so she got orders. Mostly bulk orders from caterers. And she made good money, as much as she would make on decorated cakes, but she did have to put a little extra work. 

You could contemplate doing something like that. Maybe take these couple of months off time to make a business plan. Do some market research. You could also do mail order cookies/brownies.

Point is if it was me, I would exhaust all avenues before throwing down the towel. Because I love baking and decorating and cant imagine doing anything else. So take some time to ponder and sleep on the thought. Because down the lane you don't want to ever regret taking this decision.

As for spending time with the kids, I think its a personal decision you have to make. I was at home with my kids until my younger one turned 3. Then I started baking slowly. I can't imagine being at home all day long, spending my time on household chores and kids and stuff. I would like to do something that is completely me and makes me happy and independent.  But that's me. I think you have to find out if you can do that, and so taking some time off would be good.

Hope it helps you somewhat and all the best. 

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cakebaby2 Posted 18 Dec 2017 , 11:55pm
post #11 of 19

Unless I'm mistaken this is the "business" section of what was once a legitimate enterprise?

when did post parting concerns constitute business affairs? 

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bubs1stbirthday Posted 19 Dec 2017 , 8:47am
post #12 of 19

Nice one cakebaby - revive a weeks old post to pick on  new mum, perhaps you could find something more constructive to do with your time?

Quote by @cakebaby2 on 8 hours ago

Unless I'm mistaken this is the "business" section of what was once a legitimate enterprise?

when did post parting concerns constitute business affairs? 

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-K8memphis Posted 19 Dec 2017 , 1:24pm
post #13 of 19

yeah we need to kiss and make up here -- she runs a business -- just because her baby and new motherhood are conflicting with her work doesn't mean it's not a business question -- only other chicks with demanding home businesses would understand --

let's just kiss and make up -- merrry christtmas happy chanukah happy holidays happy december happy babies happy business happy family happy happy --

happy happy happy best to all of us

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jchuck Posted 19 Dec 2017 , 1:51pm
post #14 of 19

Agreed K8memphis

Forgive the remark. Move on. Enjoy the blessings of Chanukah, and Christmas. Enjoy your family and friends.

Peace be with you..❤

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Cake-Monster Posted 21 Dec 2017 , 5:55am
post #15 of 19

You all might like to know that the letter "s" at the end of a comment is internet lingo for "sarcasm"

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-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2017 , 1:38pm
post #16 of 19

sarcasm hurts -- it's not a shield for unkindness

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-K8memphis Posted 21 Dec 2017 , 1:40pm
post #17 of 19

but thank you , no i didn't know it was code for 'sarcasm' -- 

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jchuck Posted 21 Dec 2017 , 1:43pm
post #18 of 19

Agreed K8memphis

Sarcasm is hurtful. And I also didn't know the "s" was internet "lingo" either.

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CakeyBakey2 Posted 30 Dec 2017 , 2:27am
post #19 of 19

Clearly you do not have children..and I'm guessing you do not own a legitimate business either based on the photo's in your bio.  If you were either a Mother or a legitimate business owner you did you would know that having a new baby and owning a business are tough; this is not a postpartum issue or 'post parting' as you so eloquently wrote .. trying to balance the hardest job in the world; Motherhood with another extremely hard job; running your own business. If this doesn't belong here, then where does it belong?

Quote by @cakebaby2 on 18 Dec 2017 , 4:55pm

Unless I'm mistaken this is the "business" section of what was once a legitimate enterprise?

when did post parting concerns constitute business affairs? 

Quote by @%username% on %date%